Côte de Nuits
Côte de Nuits: Pinots of world renown
The northernmost tip of Burgundy (only Chablis is located further north) is the area where the Pinot noir grape yields a whole range of rare crus that are unsurpassed in their synthesis of fullness and elegance. No wonder the names of villages like Vosne-Romanée, Chambolle-Musigny or Gevrey-Chambertin have an absolutely magical ring to Pinot lovers. The divisions of the sites into village, premier and grand cru appellations is complex, and the Côte de Nuits thus remains a fascinating enigma even for connoisseurs.
Red wines from Côte de Nuits
In contrast to the lively provincial metropolis of Beaune and the dedicated wine villages south of the city, the Côte de Nuits is still dominated by sleepy winegrowing districts. Restaurants, bars and shops are hardly to be found here. This Spartan feeling stands in stark contrast to the hysteria around the purchase of the scarcely available top sites, for which the highest prices per hectare are paid worldwide today. No wonder, for the top wines of the Côte de Nuits are viewed around the world as the epitome of Pinot noir growths of the highest quality.
Village wines gain in quality
Travelers on the N74 who enter the Côte de Nuits shortly after the famous Corton hill, immediately receive a clear view of the local terroir conditions. The vineyards along the road in the plain, where the vines are rooted in fertile alluvial soil, belong to the communal appellations. Once paid little attention, these “village” wines, when coming from ambitious winemakers, have lastingly gained in quality in recent years, and guarantee plenty of Pinot enjoyment for a moderate price.
The topography of the area is characterized by the limestone ridge that rises about one kilometre west of the N74, reaching an elevation of up to 400 metres above sea level. The best grand cru and premier cru sites are located in the middle and middle-high slopes, where the hard limestone turns to a terroir where varying proportions of sand and gravel overlay the marl soils.
Land of the red grand crus
Over 20 of the grand cru sites reserved for Pinot noir are found here. The spectrum ranges from the 50-hectare Clos Vougeot, with its over 70 vineyard owners, to La Romanée, at just 0.83 hectares. The highest prices are achieved by the crus from the 1.8-hectare Romanée-Conti. The 15-hectare Chambertin Clos de Bèze, established by monks around 630 and first mentioned in writing in 636, enjoys a similarly legendary reputation. Around 3,200 hectares are planted with vines in the Côte de Nuits region. Superior wines with individual character can be found in the well-over 100 sites classified as premier crus here.